Biotron announces outlook for 2021 and revisits last year
I hope you are doing well in these difficult times. Last year was rather weird and difficult for everybody. Let us hope that 2021 will be much better and we will be able to get back to normal.
What happened by now?
Biotron was founded with the aim to give users control over the data they are creating. At the beginning we wanted to create a user-permissioned data marketplace. To do this, we wanted to create a sustainable model and not rely on marketing efforts, as was very typical with most of the blockchain projects.
We focused our resources on developing a mobile SDK, which collects a consent from the user and then collects location data. We envisioned using this SDK in mobile applications of our partners. This way they would get incredible intelligence about their customers they could use to improve their products and services, as well as reward them for sharing their data. We communicated with many organizations across markets and industries and it was looking very promising.
The first blow came in the form of GDPR and later other privacy standards, such as the CCPA. Even though our legal and technical framework is fully compliant with them, companies started to look away from data collection and users became increasingly hesitant to give such permissions to companies. Media jumped on the hype and in a lot of cases did more harm than good by portraying some of the actors in a very bad light without explaining the differences between various data collection models.
Even though the situation became a bit more difficult we managed to sign an agreement with the City of Bratislava in Slovakia along with TransData, publisher of the Ubian app, for a pilot project. In this project our SDK was implemented in the Ubian app and after the users’ consent collected location data we used for analysis of the movement of people within the City of Bratislava, which the municipality could use to improve the public transport and make better decisions in the transport area.
Second major blow came in the form of data collection guidelines directly from Apple and Google. Over time they made it increasingly difficult for publishers to collect location and other data from mobile applications even after acquiring necessary consents from the user. To show how serious they are, they banned location tracking technology from X-Mode Social from applications on their stores. Both Google and Apple now require developers to get approval for the use of background location, which isn’t very straight forward. (Also, I would very much like to know if they hold the same standards for third party publishers, as well as their own applications and those of the companies in their control, such as Waze.)
This affected the Ubian app as well and it became increasingly difficult to meet with Google Android’s review team to publish updates. Due to all this the model we envisioned to create even with all its iterations is no longer viable.
We still believe that there is huge opportunity in user-permissioning, as none of the current solutions are good enough. The whole space lacks transparency and user-friendliness. That is why we decided to work on Optinio — a consent management platform on blockchain. It utilizes much of the technology we have developed for the data marketplace. It is a blockchain-based protocol, that enables businesses to track users’ privacy consents across the entire data supply chain.
Companies collect hundreds of millions of data consents annually. But intermediaries are often involved in the process especially with user data monetization. Consider the upsell marketing campaigns targeting existing user base by third party partners, or selling users data to company partners with user’s consent to do so. So there is a need to make sure that user consents are appropriately managed between companies.
The Optinio protocol aims to make it simpler to manage and control how all the relevant parties handle and share users’ personal data. At the same time, users must retain control over opt-in or opt-out.
The immutable blockchain enables opt-in/out data to be shared between companies and provides a standardized consent management solution. Additionally, it helps companies to demonstrate compliance with privacy legislation such as GDPR or the California Consumer Privacy Act.
Right now we are validating the concept and adapting the developed technology to the new platform. New updates will follow shortly. In the meantime, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us wherever. I would also like to thank you for your support and wish you all the best in 2021.
Pavol, CEO of Biotron